Proposed order could cut off some California farmers from water as drought conditions persist


(KTXL) — Some farmers in California may soon see their demand for water go unfulfilled due to the drought and proposed emergency curtailment order by the State Water Resources Control Board. 

With 2020-2021 projected to be the second driest two-year period on record for California, the board is on track to make some changes to who can divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed.

The board was directed to consider an emergency regulation in May. A month later, on June 15, the board alerted post-1914 appropriative water right holders that the watershed might not have enough water for them to divert.

“The letter was also sent to pre-1914 appropriative and riparian claimants to warn them that water may also be found to be unavailable at their claimed priority of right in the near future,” the board said in their order. 

The order was proposed to protect those with senior water rights — Though some of them may eventually have to stop diversions.

There will be a vote on Aug. 3, and there is a July 27 workshop that will provide information on the watershed. 

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